Scholar Spotlight

Five Minutes with Manrique

College: Texas State University
Major: Travel and tourism
Year: 2015 Dell Scholar

Tell us about your journey from Dallas to Texas State?
My family is from El Salvador. I am the first in my family to attend college. My mom works as a hair stylist and my dad has his own shop and fixes cars. Throughout high school, I was always motivated by sports. I wasn’t an A student, but when it came time to get down and grind, I did what I had to. I didn’t think at first I was going to college or that it was feasible. But I remember my family always told me I needed to do something better.

I heard your Dell Scholars application came down to the last minute, is that true?
I remember one of my friends told me I should apply to scholarships – “you never know what you’ll get,” he said. I remember I took a day off from school and I worked on all of my essays and got all of my stuff together and applied to a whole bunch of scholarships. The Dell scholarship was one of the last ones I applied to (I applied to it the day of and I logged in at 10 minutes before the deadline to submit). I had saved everything in Google Docs and then everything crashed and I ran to another computer and started copying and pasting and submitted it at the very last moment and I remember I was just sitting on the floor like, “that really just happened!” I think I was researching and writing everything for a good 20 hours – I didn’t sleep at all that day.

Wow, what a story! Now that you’re at Texas State, what has been your greatest takeaway?
College allows you to find a way to extend yourself to help people. I used to think a degree – it was just a piece of paper – but now I think it’s so much more than that. There comes a time when you’ll have to depend on yourself. I’ve found that college is about discovering things about yourself and working toward a goal.

Now that you’ve almost graduated, what’s next?
I am trying to take control of my time and my finances little by little. I’ve started to notice that if you can break down one thing at a time, it just starts with little things, like making your bed in the morning. Little things just check them off. Right now I’m taking my shot at internships and there are rejections and interviews and I’m seeing within myself on how I can get better and what I can do. Also, manage time and manage my emotions. I have the mentality that I can do a lot with the group of people that surround me.

Final question, what does being a Dell Scholar mean to you?
Dell Scholars allowed me to see a different side of myself that I never thought I’d be able to see. It allowed me to come to school and I still can’t believe it. It’s a blessing, I never thought this would be happening. It was a one way ticket to allow me to do so much more. It was a building block that allowed my life to take a drastic change for the better.